Rabbit Diseases: Rabbit Cold

Your rabbit sneezes, its eyes are red and its breathing sounds are clearly audible – it is very likely that it is suffering from what is known as rabbit cold. This is a bacterial disease.

How Does the Rabbit Get Infected with Rabbit Cold?

As with some other rabbit diseases, poor hygiene, nutritional deficiencies, and stress promote the infection. Many rabbits get sick in particularly cold temperatures or constant drafts. Therefore, make sure that there are enough warm and dry places of retreat in the rabbit enclosure.

Symptoms of Rabbit Cold

In addition to reddened eyes, increased breathing noises, and increased nasal discharge, conjunctivitis can also occur at the same time. Frequent sneezing is also characteristic of rabbit cold.

Diagnosis by the Veterinarian

Usually, the symptoms are enough to make a diagnosis – in some cases, the veterinarian will take a swab of the rabbit’s nose to identify the pathogen. If the rabbit is particularly short of breath, pneumonia should be ruled out by an X-ray. Since an untreated rabbit cold can also lead to otitis media, the ears should also be checked.

Treatment of Rabbit Flu

Antibiotics have proven effective in treating rabbit colds. The immune system of weakened animals should be supported by additional medication. Vaccination against rabbit flu is possible but is only recommended, if at all if several animals are kept and are highly controversial.

In fact, vaccination is often not advised as it can lead to an outbreak of the disease. If the airways are severely blocked, you can let the rabbit inhale, but you should consult your veterinarian and have the process explained to you in detail.

A rabbit cold is usually curable, provided that it is an otherwise healthy animal. Complications such as pneumonia, which are more difficult to treat, can develop in weakened rabbits.

How to Prevent Rabbit Flu

Of course, diseases cannot always be prevented. However, careful hygiene in the rabbit enclosure and sufficiently warm and dry retreats at cool temperatures can prevent rabbit cold.

If your rabbit is already infected with the disease, veterinary treatment is required. If you keep several animals, you should separate healthy and sick animals to avoid further infection and to clean the enclosure thoroughly.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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